Here she is, my shibori romper! Internally, I refer to her as the Shibromper.
This was an incredibly fun project, largely due to the fact that it was on a sewing dare from Gillian. The dare was pretty literal – make a romper and dye it using shibori techniques – but I still spent a good amount of time thinking about how I wanted it to look. I used McCall’s 6083, a romper pattern that I’d used a few years ago to make a dress.
Rompers seem both comical and decadent to me (perhaps because I tend to sew basics so much) and I found those qualities very appealing.
Rompers can also evoke the seventies quite strongly. Another mark in their favor!
The only adjustment I made to this pattern was lengthening the bodice by 1.5″. Bloggers of all shapes and sizes seem to agree that this pattern is too short through the waist. The curve for the rear seemed a little flat and could probably use some bootifying, but the fit is relaxed so the end result isn’t terrible. I think I could have also lengthened the pants hem an extra inch or so, because I plan to wear this with heeled shoes.
I documented a bit of my shibori process, for those of you who are interested!
I sewed up the romper almost to completion, including the elastic waistband casing, but didn’t insert the elastic.
I had decided on a loose pattern of what I believe is called kanako-style shibori, with designs created by binding discrete areas with string (or rubber bands, in my case). Once you start binding areas, it’s easy to lose track of your overall pattern, so I marked mine with pins. Now that I’m writing this out, I’ll bet tailor tacks would be an even better option than pins.
I wrapped the sections I wanted to stay tan tightly in the rubber bands. I scrunched the rubber band strands together tightly since I was hoping for a solid doughnut shape.
This is what my romper looked like after I finished binding my fabric. The romper has neckline facings, which I didn’t find with the neckline.
The next step was dyeing my romper. I’m trying to use up some Jacquard’s Procion MX dyes, which are for cellulose fibers like linen and cotton. I didn’t include instructions here, but I mostly follow the immersion dyeing instructions from this PDF provided by Jacquard. I do not, however, use Synthropol to rinse my fabric. I can give a couple of tips on dyeing, from my own experiences:
- The dye is strongest when you first put your piece of fabric or garment in, which is why it’s important to stir your dye bath constantly for 20 minutes.
- It’s really easy to create unintentional resists to the dye. I left out the elastic because the gathers probably would have given the waist band a pattern.
- Wear gloves and a mask! It’s very easy to breath in dry dye particles or absorb the wet dye chemicals through your skin.
The patchy spots on the legs are because I wasn’t able to stir my dye bath very well! I’d added in a few other shibori projects into the dye, and I think the bucket was too small. I’m not too worried about them, but would have been bummed out if I’d been aiming for an evenly-dyed piece.
Now, the big question: where do I wear this?